John Ryngsted: a 500-year old sketch portrait?

I had made up my mind to skip my usual Friday blog-post this week, but a researcher in the searchroom has just shown me something which seems worth sharing right away. It was found in a book that would go right over my head: the legal precedent book of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (c1455-1535). Drury was a distinguished lawyer and royal servant, and for a time speaker of the House of Commons. The book was, according to our catalogue “apparently drawn up in Sir Robert Drury’s life for him or by a confidential clerk in his service”. However, although the catalogue originally mentioned the fact that the back flyleaf bears the name of one John Ryngsted, it did not mention (until I added it just now) the little portrait, which has been faintly inked on to the same page – so faintly, you may struggle to make the image out clearly.

D2440 portrait

A portrait of Mr Ryngsted, perhaps? Even a self-portrait? And what do you make of his get-up?

D2440 portrait closeup

Treasure 17: The George Woodward cartoon collection

This treasure is a collection of nearly 500 prints and drawings by the artist George Murgatroyd Woodward (1765-1809). Brought up in Stanton by Dale, Derbyshire, Woodward’s artistic talents were apparently evident at a young age, and according to his father ‘he used to draw before he could speak plain’.

The Woodward collection includes his earliest known drawings, a series of pen and ink sketches produced when still in his teens, as well as a series of portraits of actors in Shakespearean roles from between 1782 and 1787. In this video, Lien and Mark have a look at some of them:

Depictions of the earliest balloon flights in England are also included, as are a number of preparatory drawings for his published caricatures.  Here are some of the balloon pictures:

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We have now added digital images of all the Woodward cartoons to our online catalogue.  You can browse them by following this link – this takes you to an overview page showing each image’s file title, but you can then click on any given entry to see the full description and a thumbnail image.  If you click on the thumbnail image, you will see your chosen cartoon in all its full-screen glory.  To search within the collection, click on Advanced Search, then use a keyword or two in conjunction with the reference D5459* (don’t forget the asterisk).  I tried using the word “clown” in the title field and got a single image of a clown – if you try the same thing, you may see why some people have nightmares about them!

During his brief career Woodward collaborated with some of the best known caricaturists of the day in order to produce his prints, and the collection includes examples of work produced in conjunction with Thomas Rowlandson, Isaac Cruikshank and Thomas Newton.

Woodward was more interested in the humour to be found in everyday life than in high politics and his caricatures provide a fascinating insight into the tastes and fashions of 18th century England.

As our Senior Conservator Lien explains in the video, she nominated the Woodward collection as one of Derbyshire Record Office’s 50 Treasures after being introduced to the archive during her job interview.  ‘There was this massive heap of dirty and damaged prints, drawings and watercolours lying on a table and I was asked what I would do with them…we certainly ended up doing all the work I’d suggested.’

Explore Your Archive – Get the Ball Rolling

As we await kick-off of the first Explore Your Archive week, here is a vigorous selection of images for sporting ladies and gentlemen.

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

EYA-poster-story-boxes

Jack Junk’s Opinion of the French Language

To mark European Day of Languages (http://edl.ecml.at/), here is a cartoon by Derbyshire-raised cartoonist George M. Woodward, taken from the large collection of his works held here:

 

 The sailor on the left asks:

Why Jack! You was so long in a French Prison, I suppose you larnt to patter their Lingo a little?

The sailor on the right replies:

No Bob, I never some how fancied it, they call things out of their names so d–nably, – why would you believe it.  They call a Horse a Shovel and a Hat a Chopper!!

Uncoloured print. 348 x 245 mm.

Date: Aug 1805

Catalogue number: D5459/2/39